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New Report Shows US Produces Nearly Two-Thirds Of World’s New Oil And Gas

The Oil Pipeline in the interior of Alaska. Date: 25 July 2018. (Photo: Gillfoto)
The Oil Pipeline in the interior of Alaska. Date: 25 July 2018. (Photo: Gillfoto)

“The scale of new production forecast from the US is staggering, no other country comes even close.”

The United States is on track to produce 61 percent of the world’s new fossil fuel production over the next 10 years, according to a new report by human and environmental rights group Global Witness. U.S. output is projected to dwarf other countries, generating eight times as much new fossil fuel energy as Canada, the second largest producing country.

“While the rest of the world moves ahead on setting ambitious climate goals that protect our planet from climate catastrophe, the U.S. is doubling down on fossil fuels with a boom in oil and gas production that puts a safe climate at risk,” said Murray Worthy, senior campaigner at Global Witness. “The scale of new production forecast from the U.S. is staggering, no other country comes even close.”

Global Witness notes that if individual states were treated as countries, seven of the top 10 biggest producers would be within the United States. Texas alone would produce more new fossil fuel than any other country, at almost four times the rate of Canada.

The report asserts that if the U.S.’ new fossil fuel development continues at the current rate, “new oil and gas fields in the U.S. will produce more than twice what Saudi Arabia produces today.”

Trump Administration Fossil Fuel Development

The Trump Administration has ousted scientists and slashed environmental regulations in its efforts to boost domestic fossil fuel production. The president denies the existence of climate change and has issued executive orders to speed pipeline production. Gas and coal lobbyists at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department have enabled special interests to subvert the scientific community’s repeated warnings about the planet’s future for the sake of industry profits.

Global witness urges the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee to have a plan in place to immediately confront the climate crisis upon entering office.

Climate Change Debate

On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will vote on whether or not to host a debate entirely dedicated to climate change.

DNC chair Tom Perez has fought demands from the Sunrise Group and other activist organizations to host a climate debate, maintaining it cannot host single-issue debates. Journalist Naomi Klein is among the numerous progressive writers and activists who reject Perez’ rationale:

“Having a habitable Earth is not a ‘single issue’; it is the single precondition for every other issue’s existence. Humbling as it may be, our shared climate is the frame inside which all of our lives, causes, and struggles unfold.”

Global Witness also insists on the urgency of a climate-specific debate, offering several questions it would like to see candidates answer:

  • What action do you intend to take to curb oil and gas production from public lands and waters?
  • Will you end government subsidies for oil and gas production? How will you ensure the money saved benefits the communities affected?
  • Will you commit to not approving new oil and gas pipelines, export terminals and other infrastructure?
  • How will you ensure your appointees to key agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior serve the public interest and not the fossil fuel lobby?

“The American people deserve to know what these candidates’ plans are and where their priorities lie,” says the Global Witness Report. “The next U.S. president needs to have a credible plan for tackling climate change. And any credible plan to tackle climate change has to prevent the U.S. from drowning the world in oil.”

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Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

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1 Comment

  1. Larry N Stout August 22, 2019

    It was predictable that the technological lag between a worldwide fossil-fuel economy and green energy would be greatly exaggerated by the incredible inertia of the all-powerful special interests that be. Combined with “growth” (the insatiable consumption of an increasingly overpopulated world) and you have the makings of the demise of civilization, and perhaps the entire human species.

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